Posted by Ashish Kotamkar, initially on the BytesForAll list. FN
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Interesting observation about Microsoft "sharing" its source code by
Philippe Bechamp on the GKD list.
From: Philippe Bechamp
Dear GKD Members,
The offer by Microsoft to share it's source code with the Indian
government may seem like a surprise and a positive move but it is
actually nothing new.
Microsoft, in response to the Open Source phenomenon, has been running
this "Shared Source Initiative" for quite some time. This policy in no
way changes anything fundamental in Microsoft's way of doing business.
It merely gives you a one year license to look at Microsoft's code,
without changing, modifying, redistributing their source
part of Microsoft's long standing campaign and strategy against Open
Source, as initially defined by "The Halloween Documents" (for which a
search will yield many results).
India could have asked for this program a long time ago. This is just an
opportunistic announcement, part of a larger strategy. Microsoft seems
very afraid of Open Source. It is not responding to market or government
needs, but to a market threat, and responding very weakly.
Microsoft's shared source program in no way competes with Open Source
licensing. With Open source, you have source code, with Microsoft you
might, if you are big and rich enough. But the similarity stops there.
With OSS, you can modify the source code and possibly get integrated
back in the main code base. MS prohibits this, even just modifying for
internal use. With OSS, there are no licensing costs, with MS, very
large ones on restrictive terms. With OSS, you can resell what you
modify, give it away even pay people to use it. With MS, none of this.
The list goes on.
Microsoft's policies are about restricting your freedom. OSS is about
Please expect to see more of these types of 'news' in the future. It is
the second time in a month that I run across misleading Microsoft
informations on my development related lists. The largest software
company in the world is on the path to diminish OSS as much as possible.
It can wine and dine people, it can spew press releases but,
fundamentally, nothing has changed.
Margaret Grieco <Msgrieco(a)aol.com> wrote:
> That microsoft is willing to share source code with India governmental
> agencies as a measure to stem the development of Linux competition is
> important news.
> Microsoft has understood the importance of policy and governance markets
> as opposed to private consumer and commercial markets ahead of the
> development institutions.
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Linux-Announce Digest #262, Volume #4 Wed, 18 Dec 2002 15:13:02 EST
NEWS: Book release in Hyderabad (forwarded) (Frederick Noronha)
From: Frederick Noronha <fred(a)bytesforall.org>
Subject: NEWS: Book release in Hyderabad (forwarded)
Date: Wed, 18 Dec 2002 13:25:49 CST
Date: Tue, 17 Dec 2002 17:10:24 +0530
From: "Dr. Atul Negi" <atulcs(a)uohyd.ernet.in>
Subject: Towards Free Software A book Release
No Sir, No Monopoly
Free Software: A Perspective
A book Published by Prajasakti Book House
Date Friday 20-12-02
Venue Sundarayya Vignana Kendram
Bagh Lingam Palli
Presided by Ashhar Fahran
Free Software Developer.
Inauguration by J A Chowdary
President Managing Director for Indian Operations Portal Player
Guest Speaker Dr. Atul Negi,
Student Activities Chair IEEE Hyderabad Section
Reader, ( Associate Professor)
Dept of Computer and Information Sciences
University of Hyderabad
This book is a collection of writings by Richard Stallman, espousing
the cause of free software, its philosophy and perspective. The book
explains the basic ideas of Free Software Movement, and the GNU
operating system that was developed so that people could use computers
in freedom. The struggle against imperialist globalization is waged on
several fronts. As the present age is called computer age this struggle
for free software assumes all the more significance.
Not only the people in general but even many computer professionals
themselves may not be aware of the strangle hold of Multinationals,
Microsoft in particular. Stallman in these articles lucidly explains the
paradoxes and perplexities of the issue.
While most of the software licenses take away the right to copy, study,
distribute and modify the software. The software developed by the free
software programmers is also distributed in the original 'source' form.
That means, any programmer can study, enhance and change the software
for their purpose without having to pay any royalty to anybody. A
developing country like India needs to constantly strive for cost
Richard Stallman is the founder of the GNU project, launched in
1984 to develop the free operating system GNU. He is the principle author
of the GCC designed to support diverse architectures and multiple
languages which now supports over 30 different architectures and 7
programming languages. Stallman also wrote the symbolic Debugger(GDB),
GNU emacs, and various other GNU programs.
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It is really exciting to know that someone is picking up the roots of not
only linux but intelligence as well.
I have lately been discussing the fact with RMS that how majority of the
students are being left out of open source initiative (FSF/GNU). Abhas is
very right when he says that students carry enormous potential when guided
and manouvered in the right direction. The freshness of approach is the key
to innovation and this coupled with experienced guidance takes the shape of
I have myself been interacting with students on various projects and have
been amazed at their ability to push things through.
I have found students of being very receptive on taking up challanges and
abhas is again right when he says that sometime we have to co-op up with
their state of stagnancy. But then most of the Genius are known lazy
fellows. But believe me, when they are on a roll, thats when guys like bill
and larry spend some sleepless nights, on knowing what these aliens are
upto. In his recent visit to india, bill gates did mention "I SEE SOME
INNOVATIVE PRODUCT COMPANIES COMING UP FROM INDIA" and believe me he
understands the power of these small creatures (students) of our IT world,
he knows there are lot of seeds being sown in garages all around the world.
Indian garages have an edge. A large student base is ready to scratch their
heads and another thing that Devang Mehta(late NASSCOM honcho) likes to
identify with India - THE INDIAN JUGAAD is always handy.
We need a unified effort to gather this scattered force and what could be a
better forum than FSF/GNU.
Make the Students follow the FSF Ideology and see the results: These
creatures invade the industry every year with dreams and ambitions. They
will eat up the properietry world.
We need to make them believe that they are "THE ONE"; especially in India.
leave you with this thought,
STOP MORE SPAM with the new MSN 8 and get 2 months FREE*
On Sat, 14 Dec 2002, Orlando Fernandes wrote:
> btw can anyone tell me how Richard make his money, did he always have it?
> did he have to work for it? or did he get it fre 'cause he gave all his code
> away for free?
This is from Sam Willians' book *Free as in Freedom*, the
biography of RMS (aka Richard M. Stallman). Look at the
amazing way in which sharing begets further sharing:
"In 1990, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
certified Stallman's genius status when it granted Stallman
a MacArthur fellowship, thereby making him a recipient
for the organisation's so-called "genuis grant". The grant,
a $240,000 (sorry for getting this figure wrong earlier-FN)
reward for launching the GNU Project and giving voice to the
free software philosophy, relieved a number of short-term
concerns. First and foremost, it gave Stallman, a non-salaried
employee of the FSF who had been supporting himself through
consulting contracts, the ability to devote more time to
writing GNU code.
"Ironically, the award also made it possible for Stallman to
vote. Months before the award, a fire in Stallman's apartment
house had consumed his few earthly possessions. By the time
of the award, Stallman was listing himself a 'squatter' at
545 Technology Square. "[The registrar of voters] didn't want
to accept that as my address," Stallman would later recall.
"A newspaper article about the MacArthur grant said that and
then they let me register."
"Most important, the MacArthur money gave Stallman more
freedom. Already dedicated to the issue of software freedom,
Stallman chose to use the additional freedom to increase his
travels in support of the GNU Project mission.
"Interestingly, the ultimate success of the GNU Project
and the free software movement in general would stem from one
of these trips. In 1990, Stallman paid a visit to the
Polytechnic University in Helsinki, Finland. Among the
audience members was 21-year-old Linux Torvalds, future
developer of the Linux kernel -- the free software kernel
destined to fill the GNU Project's most sizeable gap."
Read this book if you can. Ironically, it's freely copyable under the GNU
Free Documentation License. Maybe our FSF-India friends could think of
getting some publisher publishing a low-cost (or possibly
updated) version of it for India.
I know some young programmers who swear that their views on programming
were drastically changed after reading this book. FN
Hi Mr. Satish,
You are very right when you say the recipe of coke cant do much on itself.
But lets for a moment think on what the availability of recipe of coke can
do when it is free to one and all.
- Maybe someone would have innovated and creted a new recipe, that would
have been better than coke. Then we could have drank the wonderful coke++
rather than coke.
- maybe that coke++ would have costed a lot less.
- maybe we could have made it at home ?
- maybe we could have altered the taste to suit our tastebuds.
- further, this new innovation would have been available to one and all, so
no drinking (digital) divide.
A flip side could be an uncontrollable mess. This is being taken care of.
- Now regulating/benchmarking/standardizing/ the new inventions is exctly
what GNU is doing.
satish> what is important and critical is to understand how to
satish> envision, architect,design, develop, test,...and implement satish>
integrated systems in as much as is feasible with an
satish> understanding both of the needs and the technology and in that
yes, you are right. We are catching up fast with the properietry world, and
in some spheres we are infact better. More than half of the internet that
supports us all is the result of this and similar visions and integrations.
Mr. Satish, be sure in near future you will see a lot coming out of GNU and
elswhere that will take care of your concerns.
maybe your concern is not understood, correct me if i am wrong. You indend
to say that open source is a minor piece of the puzzle. There are a lot more
concerns to be handled alongwith.
[ to other friends:]
friends, Mr. Satish does not seem to be opposing OS idea or Freedom, maybe
what he intends to say is Open source is there to stay, now we have it and
more and more is available by the tick, we need to look at the concerns
beyond open source (that i think we are now doing).
He seems to say: for an organisation : An integrated free system is far more
important than the source code of that system. (but having the source code
is great anyways).
[to Mr. Satish]
Sir, open source is the key to freedom and innovation. We stand a better
chance of achieving integrated systems that are the best when thousands of
envanglists are working on your concerns and remember the OPEN RECIPE of
coke triggered it all.
In near future you wont have to shell out money cause of weird licensing
MICROSOFT is pretending to share code. What and how much has become a well
circulated joke. Mr. Bill gates must have or soon will realize that Indians
carry far more commonsense than he thinks they do. They lined up to take
money from him, not give it to him.
what microsoft is undertaking is a well guided tactical move to undermine
linux. Dont worry, commonsense will prevail. We know by now, how he thinks.
Anyways, future will not be decided by Microsoft or GNU sharing codes. It
will be decided by what kind of integrated systems come up at both the ends.
leave you with this thought ...
Help STOP SPAM with the new MSN 8 and get 2 months FREE*
On Tue, 2002-12-17 at 01:03, satish jha wrote:
> thanks much. went to the recommended site. i don't think you need ti
oversimplify it. it is oversimplified in itself though it could do with
a bit of editing.
> having seen it, read it i am persuaded that its propounders live in a
world of their own and have a right to do so.
i believe that without intellectual property rights there may have been
some ideas. innovation, technolgy development and progres would have
taken another path altogether and it can be shown that at least in terms
of economics as we know it, it would be a sub-optimal model compared to
what we have known.
You forget that a large part of development took place without what you
call "intellectual property rights". Those who claim rights for
"intellectual property" forget that they have made ample use of similar
"intellectual property" that others could have laid claim to. Would they
be willing to share their "property rights" with everyone who has
contributed towards its generation, right from the people who invented
the wheel? Remember, even Isaac Newton, one of the greatest scientists
ever, said that "If I have seen further, it is because I have stood on
the shoulders of giants".
In India we have a model of knowledge that has been of tremendous value
to humanity, which grew, and continues to grow, without the benefit of
"intellectual property rights" - I refer to Ayurveda. But I tend to
agree with you when you say that there may have been a different path
of progress if "intellectual property rights" - that path would have led
to a more equitable society, something that is much more valuable to
people like us in this list than what goes by the word "progress" today.
i do not wish to debate it on this forum for a variety of reasons and
would think while the debate has a place on this forum, it may not be
the right place for allocating majority of its time to free software
I think if you had no desire to debate this on this forum, then you
should not have raised the question here.
> you are an infectious speaker and will always sway people your way.
that will not persuade me to go along with the substance of it though.
What you are essentially saying is that you admit that what Sunil said
is true, but you are not willing to admit it. That is really good.
> thanks much
> satish jha
> cmd, james martin & co
> president, digital partners india
> n-103, panchsheel park,
> new delhi - 110 017
> v: 649 9384/5; 649 4384/5
> f: 649 4380
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: sunil
> To: bytesforall_readers(a)yahoogroups.com
> Cc: linux-india-general(a)lists.sourceforge.net ;
> Sent: Monday, December 16, 2002 5:21 PM
> Subject: Re: [bytesforall_readers] Microsoft to share Windows code
> Dear Satish,
> Free Software is not Open Source Software. Access to code is not the
> issue. Free License implies Ownership and Control. It is not the
> coke but the ownership of coke.
> Copyrighting is the root cause of the digital divide... here is an
> oversimplification so that you can understand..
> Before the concept of Private Property:
> No Economic Divide
> After the concept of Private Property:
> Land Owners
> Economic Divide
> Before the concept of Intellectual Property:-
> No Digital Divide
> After the concept of Intellectual Property:
> Those with Knowledge
> Those without Knowledge
> Digital Divide
> You will notice this trend in all forms of privatization:- water,
> gestures, ideas, products etc.
> General Public License transfers ownership of digital assets to the
> To use a Marxist phrase - the means of production in the knowledge
> will be transfered to the poor. This is a 'critical' component of
> digital divide intervention.Without this type of systemic
> other ICT is merely technology band-aid.
> Please see my IIM-B presentation for more details:
Is this another way of saying
that India was out in
the cold till all this time?
Below is something I had
written for LinuxJournal
If so, would someone clarify
why India was treated as
untrustworthy till recently,
and what has since changed? FN
From an article published in early December in www.linuxjournal.com:
Microsoft has argued that its 'Shared Source Initiative' is "a balanced
approach to broadly licensing source code while preserving the intellectual
property (IP) rights needed to sustain a strong software business".
Interestingly, Microsoft's source code is "made available" only in some
countries worldwide, depending, the company says, on "national laws,
practices, enforcement policies and attitudes towards IP protection".
The Windows CE, Windows CE Academic Curriculum, and C#/JScript/CLI
Implementations Shared Source Licensing Programs are available worldwide.
But enterprise, systems integrator, government and OEM source licensing
programs are not available in India, according to Microsoft's official
website accessed November 30.
Neither is the Microsoft Research Source Licensing Program.
"I tried digging the m$ site on Shared Source," responded Mahesh T. Pai, one
of those discussing the issue with strong views in the commons of the Indian
Complained Pai: "I digged and digged and digged and digged and clicked on a
link and clicked on another link which said 'more info' and clicked on link
which said 'more info' and clicked on link which said 'more info' and ...
there was more and more and more and more and more and more and more on
'benefits' of Shared Source; they told that you will get the access to the
source code if you 'agree' but the license was not available to read."
"Shared source is another way of saying 'my code is my code; your code is
our code'," Pai argued.
On Fri, 13 Dec 2002, Ashish Kotamkar wrote:
> Microsoft to share Windows code with India
> The Economic Times, India DECEMBER 13, 2002
> Microsoft is virtually doing the unthinkable in India � it is planning to
> share the Windows source code. Not with one and all, as Linux does, but with
> a specific government body which, in turn, will share it with others for the
> purposes of e-governance and education.
> Microsoft has already made a proposal to the ministry of information
> technology for sharing the Windows source code with one government body. The
> nature of the body has not been spelt out; it will presumably be worked out
> after discussions between the company and the government officials.
> Interestingly, the offer comes at a time when state governments are showing
> interest in rival Linux operating system as the latter's source code is free
> and downloadable from the internet.....
> When contacted by ET, Microsoft India president Rajiv Nair was somewhat
> cagey. Although he didn't deny the move, he merely said, "We are evaluating
> the idea (of sharing the source code)." However, sources in the company said
> that MS is already in talks with the government to work out the modalities
> of sharing the source code. It's learnt that MS worldwide program manager
> for shared source program, Jason Matusow, was recently in India to work out
> the modalities.
> Microsoft is exceedingly secretive about its Windows source code � the
> company has so far shared it with only a few big clients and developers. In
> Asia. MS has shared the Windows source code with select clients in Japan,
> Korea and Singapore. What appears to have persuaded it to extend the same
> privilege to the Indian government is the growing attraction here for the
> Linux OS, which is seen by some state governments as a cheaper alternative
> to Windows.
> Microsoft officials are, of course, playing down the Linux threat. They
> insisted that Linux wasn't a big issue while selling to the governments in
> India. Says Peter Hayes, industry vice-president, Microsoft Government: "OS
> software is merely 1-3% of the total cost of an IT project, and studies have
> shown that total cost can be lower with Microsoft technologies compared to
> Linux." The open source software has been grabbing headlines recently asthe
> debate on open versus proprietary software has gained momentum in government
> circles here.
> Says MS boss for shared source program, Jason Matusow, "There has been a lot
> of hype about open source code in the software industry as well as in the
> media. Linux might grab headlines, but being able to look at source code
> doesn't bring any benefits to an average end-user, though it might increase
> the trust level.�
> The basic idea behind open source is very simple. When programmers can read,
> redistribute, and modify the source code for a piece of software, the
> software evolves. People improve it, people adapt it, people fix bugs. While
> open source community believes that this process produces better software
> than the traditional closed model, proponents of proprietary software argue
> that this model can't work in the commercial world.
> Ashish Kotamkar (ashish(a)mithi.com)
> Mithi Software Technologies Pvt. Ltd. (www.mithi.com)
> Communicate in your own language. Log onto www.mailjol.com.
this is totally irrelevant but this just got me so excited. I'm
already looking for scrap bicycle parts to have a GNU head in my
drawing hall... :)
| The bright jeweled belle thrills me in tender sulk; |
| O peaceful night! I plead with thee to prolong |
| (the delight of boudiere - 9), Thirukkural |